Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri)
June 4, 2002 Round Rock, Texas

This healthy specimen was found in the back yard of a home in suburban northwest Round Rock, Texas, on June 4, 2002. This was the first of its species that I took captive for study. It probably measures somewhere around 36 inches from nose to tail, but an accurate measurement of its length  has not been made yet. Handling this snake is difficult because it is so aggressive (herpetologists refer to this species as one of the meanest snakes found in the wild).  Note the posture of the snake in the photo at left; it is positioned to strike. Its strike is not dangerous, however, and is done more to frighten than to harm. 

This species is not venomous. Please note, however, that a wide variety of venomous snakes share the same habitat as this snake, and unless you are an experienced herpetologist, you should always treat all snakes as venomous until you learn otherwise from a competent authority. 

Needless to say, when I handle this snake I wear heavy leather gloves. When this snake strikes it doesn't always bite. Instead it hits my gloved hand with its nose. On those occasions when it does bite, it rarely attempts a good grip. Its aggressive behavior is primarily defensive, and intended more to cause an attacker to flee than to cause injury. Of course, you might injure yourself  just trying to get away from it...

It has two rows of teeth in its upper and lower jaws which are used to grasp prey. In this specimen these teeth are from 1/8th to 3/16th inches long. If this snake bit a human on an exposed area of skin its teeth would draw blood- maybe a lot of it, and the wound might bleed for a time, especially if the person receiving the bite has tender skin. The numerous puncture wounds created in the process might also carry a risk of secondary infection, because the snake's diet is mostly rats and mice who may be contaminated with pathogens.

I named this snake "Stubbs", because its tail has been shortened. Normally, this species has a long tail that tapers out to a fine point, but Stubbs must have met with some kind of misfortune in its past that caused it to draw back a stub. The stub has healed well, so the injury is likely very old.

After I studied the habits of this snake for a short time, it was released back into the wild, where it belonged.

Page 2: Stubbs is Ready to Shed...

 TERMITE ENCOUNTERS  *  SNAKE ENCOUNTERS SNAKE BITE FIRST AID * SNAKE EXCLUSION * SPIDER ENCOUNTERS * SPIDER BITE FIRST AID * SPIDER EXTERMINATION * PUSS CATERPILLAR ENCOUNTERS * PUSS CATERPILLAR FIRST AID * PUSS CATERPILLAR EXTERMINATIONAssembled & Edited by Jerry Cates. Questions? Corrections? Comments? BUG ME RIGHT NOW! ---- Ph: 512-331-1111 ---- E-Mail ---- Privacy ----BugsInTheNews * --0a0s--